[whatwg] Sortable Tables
ian at hixie.ch
Tue Nov 6 11:25:21 PST 2012
On Thu, 1 Jul 2010, Christoph Päper wrote:
> It's a common task outside HTML to sort tables by one or more of its
> There does seem interest among web content providers in making tables
> just that, eg. <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Sorting>,
> <http://tablesorter.com/docs/>. From these we can learn what would be
> needed from markup to help sorting algorithms. None of this must be
> behaviorial, but descriptionary.
> For starters, only rows inside ‘tbody’s shall be reordered. For now
> columns don’t have to be reordered, ie. only vertical, no horizontal
> sorting. Nevertheless the design should make it possible to add the
> other direction later.
> Not every table has content that makes sense to be sorted in a different
> order. So sortable tables should be marked as such. Note that ‘col’ and
> ‘colgroup’ elements are hardly supported.
> Not every column has content that makes sense to be sorted in a
> different order. So non-sortable columns inside sortable tables should
> be marked as such.
> There are different ways to sort, eg. numeric, temporal or alphabetic
> and ascending or descending. Therefore columns should bear information
> how they should be sorted, ie. what kind of content their cells have.
> Several columns may be used for sorting by some kind of priority.
> The original order must be restorable.
> Cell content may not consist of the string that should be used verbatim
> for sorting purposes, eg. leading articles or similar numbers with
> different units (‘g’, ‘kg’, ‘t’ …). Cells should have an optional
> attribute indicating their sort key. The ‘time’ element already provides
> the necessary metadata features for temporal sorting – maybe there
> should be more of such elements instead.
> There may be columns that shall remain stable, eg. rank numbers.
This is a very interesting idea.
Is this something browser vendors would be interested in implementing? I'm
hesitant to add a feature for this (which could be somewhat involved)
before having the definite interest of some browser implementors.
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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